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newbie, hoping for critiques

3227 Views 17 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  richy
I have submitted this tank in other fora looking for suggestions and advice, but given the short lifespan of individual posts on a forum, I am submitting this here and hope to get some comments/suggestions on this tank (If you've seen it before please dont mind, I hope I dont come across as fishing for comments, I really want to improve this as I am a newbie).

Here is my 18g tall tank. The lighting is 1 65W 6700k coralife, 1 10w Coralife screw-on cfl and 1 10w all glass 5,500k screw-on cfl. co2 is diy through 2 2.8l juice bottles dissolved in an internal reactor powered by a fluval1 (the only filtration unit) - 36ppm co2, dose kno3 and kh2po4 to maintain 10ppm and 1ppm of no3 and po4 respectively. also dose mgso4 and k2so4 once a week after water change, 0.6ml flourish, 1ml flourish xl and 0.6ml flourish iron everyday. substrate is mix of ecocomplete and flourite on top of a thin layer of laterite and some floursih plant tabs.

I also had a question on the H. zesterofolia, initially it had a vibrant green growth (the above pic is was taken on the 14th of this month), today I noticed transperant creases running across the leaves. I read that the plant becomes pale if nitrates decrease and that it gets white or black creases if there is an iron and/or micrnutrient deficiency. I dont know how I should correct this, increasing the fe/flourish dosing or increasing the nitrate level (its presently 10ppm) or both? Right now the tank is algae free, so I am a little wary of tipping the balance.
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16 gal. aquascape


Here are a few points to look at from my view of your 16 gal. aquascape.

There is a balance issue with the right side and the left side of your tank.
The driftwood is either too large or too far to the right to help connect the whole tank together.
The easy way is to remove it and spread the plants on the left to both sides.
But what's the fun in that.
I would shift the stargrass to the right more away from the center. I would then place the driftwood on its side with the back branch along the lines of the didiplis pointing to the left corner. The thinner branch will lay in front between the stargrass and the hairgrass to form a upside down V.
The reason for that is there is no need for the wood to cover the height of your tank by standing the branches up. You have stem plant to do that job. It also taking up space in the back right side and cause too much shadow on that side of the tank. The space can be use to move some cutting over to that space.
The diftwood now on its side helps create a middle height to connect the foreground and the tall stem plants in the back.

On the foreground, you need to trim down the front hairgrass pushing into the glass or slope it better since you are loosing your depth. Compare the 1st picture and the latest one and you see what I mean.

A driftwood that size can hinder you overall design, if placed in the wrong spot.

Good luck with the 16 gal.
I can't see your 10 gal. picture so can't comment on it.
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